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A Step In The Right Direction For The California Legislature

Temporary Relief For Flight Training Operations Passed Thursday

The California Legislature on Thursday passed SB 856, a bill that, among its other provisions, will provide a delay in compliance with regulations issued by the California Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) pursuant to AB 48, Chapter 310, Statues of 2009 as they apply to flight training operations.  SB 856 is now headed to Governor Schwarzenegger's desk for his signature.

SB 856 creates a delay in compliance, retroactive from July 2010, until July 2011, for all flight training facilities and activities. This bill's passage is the result of a long effort by the flight training industry along with a broad array of advocacy groups such as NATA and AOPA. If signed by the governor, will allow the necessary time for the California Legislature to examine the appropriateness of incorporating flight training into the BPPE's regulatory purview.

"This delay is absolutely necessary to ensure that the flight training community is afforded the opportunity to have its voice heard on regulations affecting the future of the industry" NATA Director of Regulatory Affairs Michael France said in a news release Friday. "Without this type of opportunity, the impact of the BPPE's regulations could be disastrous for flight training and the aviation industry in general."

"We look forward to the opportunity to see this issue through to resolution with a long-term solution that offers consumer protections without inflicting excessive damage on the aviation industry - to protect countless small businesses and jobs in the state," added Greg Pecoraro, AOPA's vice president of airports and state advocacy.

AB 48 authorized the BPPE to regulate flight training for the first time without input from the industry. If signed by the governor, SB 856 will mark the beginning of an industry effort to educate legislators on the uniqueness of flight training and why it cannot be regulated like typical "brick and mortar" educational facilities.

FMI: www.legislature.ca.gov

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